bluebird bio (BLUE) Announces Temporary Suspension on Phase 1/2 and Phase 3 Studies of LentiGlobin Gene Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease

February 16, 2021 7:00 AM EST
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bluebird bio, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLUE) announced today that the company has placed its Phase 1/2 (HGB-206) and Phase 3 (HGB-210) studies of LentiGlobin gene therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD) (bb1111) on a temporary suspension due to a reported Suspected Unexpected Serious Adverse Reaction (SUSAR) of acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

In line with the clinical study protocols for HGB-206 and HGB-210, bluebird bio placed the studies on temporary suspension following a report received last week that a patient who was treated more than five years ago in Group A of HGB-206 was diagnosed with AML. The company is investigating the cause of this patient’s AML in order to determine if there is any relationship to the use of BB305 lentiviral vector in the manufacture of LentiGlobin gene therapy for SCD. In addition, a second SUSAR of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in a patient from Group C of HGB-206 was reported last week to the company and is currently being investigated.

No cases of hematologic malignancy have been reported in any patient who has received treatment with betibeglogene autotemcel for transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia (licensed as ZYNTEGLOTM in the European Union and the United Kingdom), however because it is also manufactured using the same BB305 lentiviral vector used in LentiGlobin gene therapy for SCD, the company has decided to temporarily suspend marketing of ZYNTEGLO while the AML case is assessed.

“The safety of every patient who has participated in our studies or is treated with our gene therapies is the utmost priority for us,” said Nick Leschly, chief bluebird. “We are committed to fully assessing these cases in partnership with the healthcare providers supporting our clinical studies and appropriate regulatory agencies. Our thoughts are with these patients and their families during this time.”

The independent safety review board monitoring the company’s studies as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) have been advised of these cases and bluebird bio will continue to work with regulatory agencies to complete its investigation.

Investor Conference Call Information

bluebird bio will hold a conference call to discuss this update on Tuesday, February 16 at 8:00 a.m. ET. Investors may listen to the call by dialing (844) 825-4408 from locations in the United States or +1 (315) 625-3227 from outside the United States. Please refer to conference ID number 880-6406.

To access the live webcast of bluebird bio’s presentation, please visit the “Events & Presentations” page within the Investors & Media section of the bluebird bio website at http://investor.bluebirdbio.com. A replay of the webcast will be available on the bluebird bio website for 90 days following the event.

About HGB-206 and HGB-210

HGB-206 is an ongoing, Phase 1/2 open-label study designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of LentiGlobin gene therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD) that includes three treatment cohorts: Groups A, B and C. A refined manufacturing process designed to increase vector copy number (VCN) and further protocol refinements made to improve engraftment potential of gene-modified stem cells were used for Group C. Group C patients also received LentiGlobin for SCD made from HSCs collected from peripheral blood after mobilization with plerixafor, rather than via bone marrow harvest, which was used in Groups A and B of HGB-206.

HGB-210 is an ongoing Phase 3 single-arm open-label study designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of LentiGlobin gene therapy for SCD in patients between two years and 50 years of age with sickle cell disease.



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